Students put it all on the table: Casino Night returns with high attendance

The Student Government Association (SGA) Senate tried their hand at throwing the annual Casino Night on March 5 in the Buntrock Ballrooms, proving success with high attendance. Previously, this event was handled by the Inter-Hall Council, which no longer exists. Kenzie Todd ’22, a former member of the Inter-Hall Council and current member of SGA Senate, had a role in organizing the event under both jurisdictions. 

Todd noted that this year the event was running smoothly with the extra budget and more hands working. Every member participated in the event in some way, and that was certainly evident. Senate members were seen expertly dealing cards, calling bingo numbers, counting out chips, and rushing off to fetch yet more chairs and tables. The event was a wild success, with 425 people in total attendance  — many more than expected. Card tables filled quickly, and several more tables were added throughout the night to accommodate the event’s popularity. 

Kate Zhylinskaya ’25 explained that while the games were popular, they were not the main draw to the night. Zhylinskaya suggests that mostly, students wanted a chance to get out, dress up, and see their friends. Because last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19, it was the first casino night for many attendees, many appeared simply out of curiosity. For others, it was a chance to have a night out, but was more chill than going to a party or a Pause dance.

The event’s black tie dress code was certainly a draw for many — a chance to show off your sparkly prom dress from high school or whatever combination of nice clothes you have stashed away in your closet. I saw everything from jeans and crop tops to floor length gowns and what I suspect was jewelry left over from the previous night’s canceled glitter-themed Pause Dance. It certainly made for a classy affair, with everyone dressed up, casting their chips with abandon, and being serenaded by the sound of Erich Dvorak ’25 playing live piano in the main room.  

Senate member and skilled bingo caller Caroline Geer ’24 sums up the goals — and, in my opinion, the accomplishments of the night.

“I wanted to help with Casino Night to help improve visibility of Senate on campus and bring back an event a lot of juniors and seniors remember fondly,” Geer said. “I’m glad that we were able to bring this event to everyone and hopefully show that we want to engage with students in fun ways.” 

 

Note: Kenzie Todd ’22 is an illustrator for the Olaf Messenger.

 

slaven1@stolaf.edu

 

Martha Slaven
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